When salespeople attend our workshops, many like to feel they have a lot of product knowledge and can talk about their services for eternity.
They feel this knowledge and background impresses their prospects and allows them to show off the reasons why the prospect should choose what they offer.
Unfortunately, it can cause precisely the opposite for a lot of prospects.
Not only does it switch buyers off when they feel they are being ‘pitched’ to, but it also reduces the respect a prospect has for the salesperson, because a lot of the information being presented either isn’t relevant to their business, or they have found out this knowledge when carrying out their research.
So, what can you do to ensure you have not only the prospect’s interest but also their willingness to share what’s most important to them?
There are four simple words you can use that will open up the entire conversation and allow you to find out a lot more about their business opportunities.
Inc.com published a fascinating article on how managers can improve the morale within their teams, and it also applies to us in sales.
The four simple words are ‘Can you help me?’
Now, it may sound simplistic, but inevitably the business you are working with will have information that will help you to set up your presentation that is worthwhile and relevant.
Those four words mean you don’t know it all, and you need some help, which is readily available from the buyer or decision-maker.
Don’t make your request too specific, don’t say what you need, don’t make it sound as if you are more intelligent than the buyer and don’t make it patronising.
Instead, tell them what you can’t do.
Say “We need to find information that will help us deliver to the right place. Can you help me?’
Or ‘I need to research how your previous machines have achieved the performance they have’
Or ‘I don’t know how many offices would need this solution. Can you help me?’
Each one of these examples show you are lacking in information. 99% of the time, the buyer will offer the information you want, and for three specific reasons:
You convey respect to the buyer, because you’re insinuating they know more than you do.
You show that you trust them and the information they give you will be correct and helpful.
You assure the buyer that you’re listening to them.
Each of these show the buyer you need their help and assistance in progressing the conversation.
They are instantly involved and they want to help.
When people feel involved like this, they are more willing to open up and share information.
And that’s simply because you’ve used four simple words!